Pleasantville, Revisited

I remember Pleasantville.

Well, not exactly. But when I was a child in the 1980s, Greenfield, Massachusetts seemed close to the faux 1950s sitcom suburban utopia. It’s my father’s hometown–my grandparents had a ranch-style house at the end of a cul-de-sac. Greenfield was a classic small New England town–a mostly “white ethnic” (Irish, Italian, Polish, etc.) hamlet with a local department store, a small movie theater, and a smattering of stores. My grandmother could feel safe giving me and my sister a dollar to get penny candy at the candy shop.

Things are never as innocent as you remembered as a child, but talking to my relatives who were adults at the time, I don’t think my memories are far off.